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Section 6. Officials (Referees, Judges, and Assistants)

In adult Black Belt competition, the contest shall be conducted by one referee and four judges, along with the assistance of a timekeeper and a scorekeeper. In colored belt or youth Black Belt competition, the use of 2 judges & 1 referee will be allowed if there are not enough judges available.

6.1 Qualifications

6.1.1 All sanctioned tournaments shall be officiated by competent HMAL referees. Tournament directors may allow any Black Belt they deem qualified to judge if such Black Belt agrees to abide by tournament rules and regulations. Judges will be placed in rings according to their knowledge of the HMAL rules, not by rank.

6.1.2 A judge can be replaced by the Center Referee, Mediator or Tournament Director after any given match or be temporarily removed when he has a competitor in the match.

6.1.3 A Center Referee can be replaced by the Mediator or Tournament Director at any time that it becomes apparent the person is not following HMAL rules & regulations.

6.2 Duties

6.2.1 The Center Referee shall: Make every effort to ensure the safety of the competitors. Control the competition. Physically inspect the competitors before the match. Give pre-competition instructions when necessary, declare the end of the match, and give warnings and commands such as break and continue. Call warning, the deduction of points, points and disqualifications as he/she sees fit. Stop the timekeeper's clock when necessary. Be inside the ring to start the match and move about the ring to maintain the best visual advantage of the competitors.

6.2.2 The Judges shall: Be placed at each corner of the ring and assist the referee as needed. Shall cast a vote for point through the use of the flag as each occurs. Vote on Disqualification when asked to do so. Judges shall remain on the outside of the ring and may not enter the ring unless asked to do so by the referee.

6.2.3 Assistants--Timekeeper & Scorekeeper The timekeeper shall be responsible for keeping the official time by starting and stopping the clock on the referee's orders and announce the expiration of the official time period. The timekeeper will be responsible for turning the numbers on the table top scorecards. The Scorekeeper shall keep an accurate record of each warning, minus point, point and disqualification (on the appropriate form) as awarded by a majority of the four judges and referee. Scorekeeper shall record the full name of each competitor on all forms.

6.3 Attire

6.3.1 All officials shall wear a clean uniform or appropriate street clothes.


Section 7. Official Signals and Language

Officials shall use authorized gestures and terminology, as indicated below during the competition.

7.1 Referee

7.1.1 Before the match: The referee shall instruct the competitors to face him and say "bow" to indicate that they should bow to him. Next, the referee shall instruct the competitors to face each other and say "bow" to indicate that they should bow to each other. The referee shall then physically examine the two competitors to ensure that all the requirements listed in Sections 2,3,4, & 5 have been followed. The referee shall assume a front stance, and execute a shoulder level knifehand downward strike to separate the opponents while commanding, "Fighting Stance."

7.1.2 To start the match: The referee shall sharply pull his/her hand back, and at the same time command “Begin.”

7.1.3 To temporarily Halt the Match: The referee shall say "Break," extending both arms between the opponents.

7.1.4 To temporarily Halt the Match for a Point Call: The referee shall say "Break," bring both competitors back to the center of the ring, stand between them with both arms parallel to the floor, palms down and fingertips touching and command, "Call." Upon his own command for "Call" the referee shall indicate his vote for point by extending either arm in the direction of the contestant who he/she thinks scored a valid point with palm up. This is to be done at the same time as the corner judges - no delay. To Continue the Match: The referee shall say "Continue" using the same gesture used to begin the match. To End the Match: The referee shall say "Break" and then "Stop" and reposition the competitors in the starting position. After the competitors bow to each other the referee will instruct them to face him and bow. The referee will then approach the Scorekeeper who will inform him of the winner. The referee will then return to the competitors and stand between them facing the front, grasp both competitors' wrists, raise the winner's arm and announce the winner.

7.2 Judges

7.2.1 To Temporarily Halt the Match: The judge shall yell "Point" loudly while raising his/her flag to a position parallel to the floor, making sure he/she does not indicate a color.

7.2.2 To Make a Call: The judge shall use the flag with the appropriate colored end in the same manner as the Center Referee uses his hand.

7.2.3 To Confer with the Center Referee: The judge will gain the center referee's attention, who will stop the match. The judge may use this time to call a warning if necessary, by waiving the flag in a circular motion in the air with the appropriate color up.


7.3 Awarding points

7.3.1 In order for a point to be awarded a majority of the judges and referee must concur (2 out of 3 or 3 out of 5). Points must be seen (direct line of sight), not heard. Judges and referees will either vote "YES" or "NO" that they did or did not see a point. No See’s, Clashes, Not Enough, Blocked, etc. are a NO vote.

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